All the usual caveats apply — learn English, pay taxes, no criminal record — but come 2018, the amnesty parade would begin. There’s no earthly reason from a policy standpoint to do this comprehensively instead of addressing border security first. It’s pure politics, as cynical as anything that came out of Charlie Crist’s mouth today, and it’s headed straight down the tubes. And it won’t be only congressional Republicans who send it there.
Seeking to woo Republicans, the 26-page framework, which has not yet been written into a formal bill, emphasizes first taking steps to limit illegal immigration before offering new rights for those here illegally. But the REPAIR (Real Enforcement with Practical Answers for Immigration Reform) proposal, as Democrats dubbed it, also would create a pathway to legal status for an estimated 10.8 million people who are already in the country illegally, an idea opposed by many conservatives.
Under the proposal, illegal immigrants currently in the United States would be eligible for legal status in eight years, as long as they learned English, had not committed a crime and paid their taxes. The federal government would increase funding for border security and require all American workers get a new version of their Social Security card that would include a biometric identifier to protect against the creation of counterfeits…
But the only Republican who had been negotiating with Democrats on the issue, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), criticized the proposal, saying “it is our belief that Congress should focus on border security first,” in a joint statement with Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), the No. 2 Republican in the Senate.
When even Grahamnesty’s pushing the “borders first” line, you can go ahead and start writing the death certificate for this thing. Obama’s under pressure from Latinos to deliver on this too, so here’s his paint-by-numbers statement hailing Reid’s bill as a “very important step” towards … I’m not sure what. Gridlock and defeat, I guess. That’s certainly where Dingy Harry’s headed.
Speaking of The One and immigration, here’s a direct quote from what he said to reporters yesterday about Arizona’s law: “What I think is a mistake is when we start having local law enforcement officials given the power to stop people on the suspicions that they may be undocumented workers.” Exit question: Remind me, but doesn’t the statute say there has to be an independent reason for cops to stop someone before asking about their status? Over to you, Andy McCarthy!